Thursday, January 19, 2012


"As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree. "

President Obama recently made the official decision to not allow the Keystone extension to the pipeline which would ship Canadian tar sands oil to America. Canada meanwhile is fighting a battle to actually harvest this oil against environmentalist groups largely funded by American leftists. They aren't amused up there by our interference in their economy, by the way.

This decision means that Canada will sell the oil to someone else, almost certainly China who already has been trying to get it. Either way, this oil will be harvested and sold. Which begs the question: why block the pipeline to America?

The answer Obama gives is that the oil is "dirty," that extracting this oil causes global warming by carbon emissions, and that building a pipeline would be damaging to the environment. But as I and many others have pointed out again and again: that's going to happen one way or another. America not buying this oil does not mean Canada will shrug and not get it. No matter who buys the oil, the "emissions" are the same, the pipes will be built, just in different places, giving other people jobs.

So why, then? Is it true, as so many have suggested, that President Obama is hell bent on making this country dependent on foreign oil? It seems that way, sometimes. The president has gone out of his way to stop domestic production of oil, his EPA is suing and working hard to stop natural gas production, and he's even spent American dollars to assist other nations such as Brazil in oil production. Is he really interested in American dependency on foreign oil sources?

I don't think so. In fact, in the president's statement, he notes that imports of foreign oil have reduced in his administration. I think the real answer is related to why leftists protest American actions but ignore the same or far, far worse actions by other nations. They can't change Iran but they might be able to fix the US, maybe.

President Obama is first and foremost a leftist academic ideologue. He has theories and ideas about the world that drive his actions, ideas formed in leftist communities that have created his worldview, and he acts based on those. So here's what I think is going on:

From President Obama's perspective, Americans building an oil pipeline is uniquely bad. Although he doesn't like this, the president realizes that America is a world leader. The United States is the world's only superpower, and it is the most powerful economy on earth. So when the US does something, it leads the way and sets an example.

From that, the president then thinks that American can "lead the way" by not using this oil which the politically correct people have deemed bad due to its origins. This is a president who honestly believes that humanity is altering the world's climate so significantly that we're going to create some vast ecological disaster in the near future. So by America not using this oil, we're taking a bold stand for the good of the planet.

Further, President Obama believes it is ethical and proper for the United States to avoid using oil which has been deemed bad by the Right Sort of People and by doing this, take the high ground, even if it costs us.

Also, the president wants us to get away from using fossil fuels because they destroy the planet, he honestly is convinced of that. So if oil is cheaper and more plentiful, that doesn't help wean people off the stuff and force us to find an alternative to using fossil fuels. We have to get away from our "addiction" to oil, and finding a new cheap supply of the stuff only feeds that addiction.

And finally, the president recognizes that this helps shore up his base, the hardcore radical leftists who he absolutely has to have show up and vote for him in November to have any chance to win. Sure, they're a small section of the population, but without them he hasn't any shot at a second term whatsoever. And as he's told them over and over, he's not done "fundamentally transforming" America, and needs that next term to do it.

So that's what I think is going on. Most of the time, I believe President Obama acts in good will, based on what he thinks is right. I do not think he's some malicious monster trying to sabotage the economy or destroy America out of some sadistic need. Almost everyone on earth does what they do because they think its right in some way.

The fact that the president is absurdly mistaken is the sad consequence we all have to deal with until November, and maybe - God help us - beyond. For President Obama, its better we buy oil from brutal murderous theocratic dictators than friendly Canadians. For him, and his radical base, blood stained oil is better than oil from a free neighbor because it puts out more than an acceptable amount of carbon dioxide.


Eric said...

I've read a few comments that the Keystone pipeline is not meant for supplying oil to the United States, it is meant to give Canada more capacity to pump oil to the Gulf of Mexico to be sold in other markets where it sells at a higher price.

I wouldn't object to conditions demanding that US-based distributors be given an opportunity to buy a certain percentage of the oil that comes through the pipeline at US Market Price. Of course, that's not even on the radar as far as Obama's intentions go.

I think there is a good chance the deal will still be approved, but with a different route through Nebraska. The Ogallala Aquifer is a valid environmental concern, because it delivers water over such a broad area (one of the largest continuous aquifers on the planet... a major spill into the wrong part of the aquifer could conceivably contaminate water in multiple states). The Republican Governor of Nebraska, where the largest part of the aquifer sits, was the one who requested the State Department do more research. Ultimately it should be up to the states involved to decide if they want to allow the pipeline to go through. Other large pipelines have been forced to go around this aquifer, so it may be reasonable for Keystone to do the same thing.

My main objection is the way Obama has handled it, making the issue about him instead of about the states, and pretending like he killed the deal when really all he has done is to reiterate the concerns of Nebraskans that the pipeline be re-routed.

Christopher R Taylor said...

That's an interesting context, although I have no idea how valid the concern is or not. In any case, President Obama didn't care what state it went through, or if he did he kept it a secret.

Anonymous said...

Hypocrisy at its best, no green energy is clean, green will never produce enough electricity for any economy to run much less grow.
All studies for solar, wind do not include the btu output to manufacture and destroy the components that are used in the system, and they both are dependent on Mother Nature, at best they will a supplement to existing generation methods.
Lets see what Keystone does for America and the world. Canada sell its production to China, no reduction in Carbon Footprint, no jobs for America, China refines the oil, sell s it back to America at maybe a higher price per barrel, no reduction in the Carbon Footprint, no benefit for The America Citizens, except less money in the wallet if the price has risen.
Cancelling Keystone is a loon way of controlling the American Public, ensuring more Government Decisions are beneficial(but only for the Elite in Government). And we are still not energy independent, core function of the Energy Department.
Big Government does not Create Anything, it only spends other peoples wealth in the hope there is no risk in life, there is no injustice in life, and only the Government can Tame Mother Nature and the Rules of Thermodynamics.
Governments efforts so far have produced no benefit for the American Taxpayer.

coal seam gas australia said...

I agree with the last comment. In order to have a better energy, a country should have enough oil resources. I know that people don't want these pipelines to operate due to the fact that the dirtiest crude and oil will be entering the country which may cause severe damage to the environment in case of malfunction. Anyway, I hope that the government will find other ways to resolve this oil issue.